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Sampson Flat Fire - Worst in 30 Years!

Adelaide Hills, Australia Jan. 02 2015
While filming an episode of Angry Planet in Australia, we were embedded with the fire management team from the Department of Environment, Water & Natural Resources in Adelaide. It just so happens that the day we were with them, a significant fire broke out.... The worst fire in Australia in 30 years!! What timing!

The fire weather had been "extreme" to "catastrophic" in parts of the Adelaide Hills where we were, and when the fire started, the teams were quick to pounce on it and put it out. Unfortunately, embers jumped a valley and the fire spread out of control. We were so close that we got water-bombed with fire-gel numerous times, I melted the stitching on my boots and my camera strap started to melt. At one point we dashed ahead of the fire as it was racing up a hill. We turned around and watched at close range as it engulfed the ridge, jumped the road and kept on burning. Very intense!

The fire burned for a week. More than 20,000 hectares (49,000 acres) were burned, 27 houses & 140 outbuildings were destroyed.
134 people were injured (mostly firefighters) but luckily, nobody was killed in the blaze.
 
Learn more about the fire here.

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Fire encroaching on the road.
A kangaroo flees the approaching fire.
In the thick of things.

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A water bomber attacks the head of the fire.
The heavy-lift chopper joins in the fire fighting efforts.
We were so close at times, that we actually were water-bombed numerous times.

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A distant look at the Sampson Flat fire.
I think it's time to move the car!
Moments after this photo was taken, we were totally overcome with thick smoke, bringing the visibility down to zero.

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A water bomber in very smoky skies.
The fire, seen from a nearby hillside.
Bushfire selfie!

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Eucalyptus trees burst into flames quickly because of the oils they contain.
A "Smoke Devil" vortex forms, caused by the wind patterns created within the fire.
More, extremely flammable Eucalyptus trees.

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An eerie scene as the fire continues to burn out of control.
Suited up, and ready.
The fire destroyed numerous homes and structures, but luckily there were no fatalities.

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A homestead burns.
The farmhouse was saved, but the property sustained considerable damage.
As the sun goes down, the fire still blazes away.

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Before the fire... With the Country Fire Service crews.

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